COVID-19

Ask a Doctor: What About the New COVID-19 Variants?

Continue to build COVID-19 vaccine confidence in hesitant patients by sharing this one-minute video featuring Dr. Gina Gregory-Burns explaining that the vaccines are effective and protective against variants. This video is a part of We Can Do This, a public education campaign by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), seeking to spread …

Ask a Doctor: What About the New COVID-19 Variants? Read More »

CMS encourages nursing homes to continue COVID-19 vaccination rates

June 17, 2021 | On May 11, 2021, CMS published an interim final rule with comment period that added new COVID-19 vaccination reporting requirements for nursing home staff and residents. CMS has provided a four-week grace period for facilities to educate themselves on the new requirements and to operationalize reporting. On June 10, 2021, CMS …

CMS encourages nursing homes to continue COVID-19 vaccination rates Read More »

COVID-19 Vaccination Upon Discharge from Hospitals, Emergency Departments, and Urgent Care Facilities

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recently shared with immunization program mangers across the country the document “Increasing Access to Vaccination Opportunities: COVID-19 Vaccination upon Discharge from Hospitals, Emergency Departments, and Urgent Care Facilities.” CDC is asking jurisdictions to distribute a portion of their existing COVID-19 vaccine allocation to hospitals, emergency departments (EDs), …

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Biden Administration Continues Efforts to Increase Vaccinations By Bolstering Payments for At-Home COVID-19 Vaccinations for Medicare Beneficiaries

Action Could Impact as many as 1.6 Million People with Medicare As part of President Biden’s commitment to increasing access to vaccinations, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) today announced an additional payment amount for administering in-home COVID-19 vaccinations to Medicare beneficiaries who have difficulty leaving their homes or are otherwise hard-to-reach. This …

Biden Administration Continues Efforts to Increase Vaccinations By Bolstering Payments for At-Home COVID-19 Vaccinations for Medicare Beneficiaries Read More »

COVID-19-Related Coverage and Payment

HRSA COVID-19 Coverage Assistance Fund (CAF) On May 3, 2021, HHS, through the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), announced a new program covering the cost of administering COVID-19 vaccines to patients enrolled in health plans that either do not cover vaccination fees or cover them with patient cost-sharing. This new program is called the …

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CMS Launches Community Champions Video

On May 5, 2021, as a part of CMS’ ongoing COVID-19 response efforts to support the long-term care community, CMS debuted its first social media videos. The videos highlight staff, also referred to as Community Champions, who moved from being initially uncertain about receiving the COVID-19 vaccine to accepting the vaccine–and encouraging their peers to …

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We’ve added new COVID-19 resources

Stay up-to-date on new resources from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), and local health departments.  New resources include: HHS Campaign: We Can Do ThisThe HHS campaign focuses on increasing vaccination confidence while reinforcing basic prevention measures. Learn more …

We’ve added new COVID-19 resources Read More »

FDA & CDC Resume Use of the J&J COVID-19 Vaccine

As of April 25, 2021, the CDC and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recommend use of Johnson & Johnson’s Janssen (J&J/Janssen) COVID-19 Vaccine resume in the United States. Following the FDA and CDC’s decision, the Public Health Communications Collaborative updated their Tough Q&A with messaging to help you address questions from the community. 

A Letter from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Dear Colleagues, The COVID-19 pandemic has exposed the egregious and long-standing inequities that exist across the United States—inequities that have a profound effect on the physical, social, economic, and emotional health of racial and ethnic minority groups, LGBTQ+ persons, people who use drugs, people experiencing homelessness, people who are incarcerated or detained, people who do …

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Updated Janssen (J&J) COVID-19 Vaccine Frequently Asked Questions

We’re sharing the following information from the FDA Safety Information and Adverse Event Reporting Program. Updated: April 14, 2021 Why are the FDA and CDC recommending a pause in the use of the Janssen COVID-19 Vaccine?  The FDA and CDC are reviewing data involving six cases reported to the Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS) …

Updated Janssen (J&J) COVID-19 Vaccine Frequently Asked Questions Read More »

Pausing the Use of J&J COVID-19 Vaccine: Information for Long-Term-Care Facilities

The IPRO QIN-QIO is sharing an update from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).    The CDC and FDA recommended a pause in the use of the Johnson & Johnson (Janssen) COVID-19 vaccine pending an investigation into six reported U.S. cases of a rare and severe type of blood clot in individuals who received the vaccine. COVID-19 …

Pausing the Use of J&J COVID-19 Vaccine: Information for Long-Term-Care Facilities Read More »

Resources on Johnson & Johnson Vaccine Suspension

Information Provided by the Anticoagulation Forum Following six reported cases of cerebral venous sinus thrombosis (CVST) in individuals after receiving the Johnson & Johnson (J&J) COVID-19 vaccine in the US, the CDC and FDA are recommending a pause in the use of the J&J COVID-19 vaccine pending further review. Per the CDC Health Alert (April …

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Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 Vaccine: Health Alert

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) issued a Health Alert, about the CDC and FDA’s recommended pause in the use of the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine. We’re sharing to ensure that the health care provider community is aware of the potential for adverse events and can provide proper management due to the …

Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 Vaccine: Health Alert Read More »

COVID-19 Vaccine Resources: Reaching Vulnerable Populations

As COVID-19 vaccines continue rolling out across the country, CMS is taking action to protect the health and safety of our nation’s patients and providers and keeping you updated on the latest COVID-19 resources from HHS, CDC and CMS. With information coming from many different sources, CMS has up-to-date resources and materials to help you …

COVID-19 Vaccine Resources: Reaching Vulnerable Populations Read More »

Interim Public Health Recommendations for Fully Vaccinated People

Updates as of April 2, 2021 Highlights Fully vaccinated people can: Resume domestic travel Do not need to get tested before or after travel Do not need to self-quarantine after travel Fully vaccinated people do not need to: Get tested before leaving the United States (unless required by the destination) Self-quarantine after arriving back in …

Interim Public Health Recommendations for Fully Vaccinated People Read More »

We’ve Updated our COVID-19 Resources Page

Stay up-to-date on the latest COVID-19 resources. This month, we’re highlighting new resources from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services’ Office of Minority Health (CMS OMH), and local health departments. Updates include: CDC: COVID-19 vaccine PowerPoint for staff meetings and community presentations (Available in English and Spanish) CDC: …

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Mom’s Vaccinated: When can I visit her nursing home?

It is so great that your mom, dad, or other loved ones have received their COVID-19 vaccine. This is an important step towards protecting their health, achieving herd immunity and returning to normal life. Both the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recognize the importance of visiting your …

Mom’s Vaccinated: When can I visit her nursing home? Read More »

Biden-Harris Administration Increases Medicare Payment for Life-Saving COVID-19 Vaccine

CMS – March 15, 2021 | Today, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) is increasing the Medicare payment amount for administering the COVID-19 vaccine. This new and higher payment rate will support important actions taken by providers that are designed to increase the number of vaccines they can furnish each day, including establishing …

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CMS News on Feb. 26: Coverage of COVID-19 Diagnostic Testing and Reimbursements for Administering COVID-19 Vaccines to Uninsured

Biden Administration Strengthens Requirements that Plans and Issuers Cover COVID-19 Diagnostic Testing Without Cost Sharing and Ensures Providers are Reimbursed for Administering COVID-19 Vaccines to Uninsured      CMS NEWS – February 26, 2021 | In accordance with the Executive Order President Biden signed on January 21, 2021, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), …

CMS News on Feb. 26: Coverage of COVID-19 Diagnostic Testing and Reimbursements for Administering COVID-19 Vaccines to Uninsured Read More »

CMS Takes Further Steps to Ensure Medicare Beneficiaries Have Wide Access to COVID-19 Antibody Treatment

CMS – February 19, 2021 | The U.S. Food and Drug Administration issued an Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) for the investigational monoclonal antibody therapy, bamlanivimab and etesevimab, administered together, for the treatment of mild-to-moderate COVID-19 in adults and pediatric patients with positive COVID-19 test results who are at high risk for progressing to severe COVID-19 …

CMS Takes Further Steps to Ensure Medicare Beneficiaries Have Wide Access to COVID-19 Antibody Treatment Read More »

What Partners Need to Know Now about Health Insurance Coverage during the Pandemic

CMS Memo – February 17, 2021 | As COVID-19 vaccines begin rolling out across the country, CMS is taking action to protect the health and safety of our nation’s patients and providers and keeping you updated on the latest COVID-19 resources from HHS, CDC and CMS. With information coming from many different sources, CMS has …

What Partners Need to Know Now about Health Insurance Coverage during the Pandemic Read More »

COVID-19 Vaccine Codes: Updated Effective Date for Moderna

CMS Memo | December 22, 2020 – On December 18, 2020, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration issued an Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) for the Moderna COVID‑19 Vaccine for the prevention of COVID-19 for individuals 18 years of age and older. Review Moderna’s Fact Sheet for Healthcare Providers Administering Vaccine (Vaccination Providers) regarding the limitations …

COVID-19 Vaccine Codes: Updated Effective Date for Moderna Read More »

Hi Rhode Islanders, have you had close contact with someone infected with COVID-19?

The Rhode Island Department of Health developed the COVID-19 Close Contact Quarantine Calculator to help you determine how long to remain in quarantine after exposure. What dose close contact mean? A close contact is someone who has been within 6 feet of someone with COVID-19 for a combined total of 15 minutes or more in …

Hi Rhode Islanders, have you had close contact with someone infected with COVID-19? Read More »

Training Sessions: Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine

Pfizer recognizes that this is a critical time for planning around COVID-19 vaccination efforts. As such, Pfizer is committed to sharing important updates. The Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine website for US healthcare professionals is now available at www.cvdvaccine.com. Pfizer will be hosting a series of training sessions to review information and answer questions on storage, handling, and …

Training Sessions: Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine Read More »

COVID-19 Vaccine Codes: Updated Effective Date for Pfizer-BioNTech

CMS Memo | December 14, 2020 – On December 11, 2020, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration issued an Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) for the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID‑19 Vaccine for the prevention of COVID-19 for individuals 16 years of age and older. Review Pfizer’s Fact Sheet for Healthcare Providers Administering Vaccine (Vaccination Providers) regarding the limitations of …

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CMS Guidance for Medicare Coverage of COVID-19 Antibody Treatment

CMS Memo | December 9, 2020 – CMS posted updates to FAQs and an infographic about coverage and payment for monoclonal antibodies to treat COVID-19. The FAQs include general payment and billing guidance for these products, including questions on different setting types. The infographic has key facts about expected Medicare payment to providers and information …

CMS Guidance for Medicare Coverage of COVID-19 Antibody Treatment Read More »

Dec. 2 Update: CDC National Quarantine Guidance

Options to Reduce Quarantine for Contacts of Persons with SARS-CoV-2 Infection Using Symptom Monitoring and Diagnostic Testing CDC Science & Research | December 2, 2020 – Quarantine can be a burden on public health systems and communities, potentially dissuading people from naming contacts. Reducing the length of quarantine will reduce the burden and may increase …

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CMS Takes Steps to Ensure Medicare Beneficiaries Have Wide Access to COVID-19 Antibody Treatment

Coverage Available at No Cost to Beneficiaries Across Variety of Settings in Health Care System The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services announced that starting November 13, Medicare beneficiaries can receive coverage of monoclonal antibodies to treat coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) with no cost-sharing during the public health emergency (PHE). CMS’ coverage of monoclonal antibody …

CMS Takes Steps to Ensure Medicare Beneficiaries Have Wide Access to COVID-19 Antibody Treatment Read More »

CMS Proposes Policies to Provide Seniors with More Choices and Lower Costs for Surgeries

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) is proposing several policies that would give Medicare beneficiaries more choices in where they seek care and lower their out-of-pocket costs for surgeries. The proposed rule takes steps that would allow hospitals and ambulatory surgical centers to operate with better flexibility and patients to have what they …

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CMS Proposes to Expand Telehealth Benefits Permanently for Medicare Beneficiaries Beyond the COVID-19 Public Health Emergency and Advances Access to Care in Rural Areas

Physician Fee Schedule Proposed Rule would make permanent certain telehealth and workforce flexibilities provided during the COVID-19 Public Health Emergency and improve healthcare for Americans in Rural Areas  The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) is proposing changes to expand telehealth permanently, consistent with the Executive Order on Improving Rural and Telehealth Access that …

CMS Proposes to Expand Telehealth Benefits Permanently for Medicare Beneficiaries Beyond the COVID-19 Public Health Emergency and Advances Access to Care in Rural Areas Read More »

CMS and CDC announce provider reimbursement available for counseling patients to self-isolate at time of COVID-19 testing

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) are announcing that payment is available to physicians and health care providers to counsel patients, at the time of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) testing, about the importance of self-isolation after they are tested and prior to the onset …

CMS and CDC announce provider reimbursement available for counseling patients to self-isolate at time of COVID-19 testing Read More »

CMS Updates Data on COVID-19 Impacts on Medicare Beneficiaries

On July 28, 2020 – The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services released its first monthly update of data that provides a snapshot of the impact of COVID-19 on the Medicare population. For the first time, the snapshot includes data for American Indian/Alaskan Native Medicare beneficiaries. The new data indicate that American Indian/Alaskan Native beneficiaries …

CMS Updates Data on COVID-19 Impacts on Medicare Beneficiaries Read More »

CMS Directs Additional Resources to Nursing Homes in COVID-19 Hotspot Areas

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) announced the agency’s targeted approach to provide additional resources to nursing homes in coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) hotspot areas. Specifically, CMS plans to deploy Quality Improvement Organizations (QIOs) across the country to provide immediate assistance to nursing homes in the hotspot areas as identified by the White …

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CMS Announces Plans to End the Blanket Waiver Requiring Nursing Homes to Submit Staffing Data

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) announced plans to end the emergency blanket waiver requiring all nursing homes to resume submitting staffing data through the Payroll-Based Journal (PBJ) system by August 14, 2020. The PBJ system allows CMS to collect nursing home staffing information which impacts the quality of care residents receive. The …

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CMS Issues Call to Action Based on New Data Detailing COVID-19 Impacts on Medicare Beneficiaries

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) is calling for a renewed national commitment to value-based care based on Medicare claims data that provides an early snapshot of the impact of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic on the Medicare population. The data released today includes the total number of reported COVID-19 cases and …

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HHS Announces New Laboratory Data Reporting Guidance for COVID-19 Testing

Yesterday, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) announced new Guidance that specifies what additional data must be reported to HHS by laboratories along with Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) test results. The Guidance standardizes reporting to ensure that public health officials have access to comprehensive and nearly real-time data to inform decision making …

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CDC NHSN Special Circumstances

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s National Healthcare Safety Network (NHSN) continues to support the nation’s COVID-19 response for Long-Term Care Facilities. The NHSN Long-term Care Facility (LTCF) COVID-19 Module webpage has many resources outlining facility enrollment steps and live Q&A opportunities. However here are some specific instructions for unique situations: Your NHSN facility …

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CMS Gives States Additional Flexibility to Address Coronavirus Pandemic

CMS has approved over 200 requests for state relief in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, including recent approvals for Alaska, Iowa, Hawaii, New Jersey, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Utah, and Virginia. These approvals help to ensure that states have the tools they need to combat COVID-19. This is done through a wide variety of …

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Medicare Payment for COVID-19 Diagnostic Tests

Earlier this year, CMS took action to ensure America’s patients, health care facilities, and clinical laboratories were prepared to respond to COVID-19. To help increase testing, CMS developed two codes that laboratories can use to bill for certain COVID-19 lab tests, including serology tests. CMS has updated its guidance to include payment details for additional …

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NHSN LTCF Users

To ensure accurate data are reported, the NHSN LTCF Team asks that all facilities review the reporting guidance provided in the table of instructions posted on the LTCF COVID-19 webpage. Please note that there have been revisions to the instructions, so read very carefully. The NHSN LTCG Team apologizes if this has caused any inconvenience …

NHSN LTCF Users Read More »

Medicare Pharmacies and Other Suppliers May Temporarily Enroll as Independent Clinical Diagnostic Laboratories to Help Address COVID-19 Testing

A new MLN Matters Special Edition Article SE20017 on Medicare Pharmacies and Other Suppliers May Temporarily Enroll as Independent Clinical Diagnostic Laboratories to Help Address COVID-19 Testing is available. Learn how to temporarily enroll to be an additional laboratory resource to meet the urgent need to increase COVID-19 testing capability.

CMS News Summary – MAY 7, 2020

Here is a summary of recent Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) actions taken in response to coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), as part of the ongoing White House Task Force efforts. To keep up with the important work the Task Force is doing in response to COVID-19, click here www.coronavirus.gov. For information specific to …

CMS News Summary – MAY 7, 2020 Read More »

RIDOH Shares Personal Protective Equipment Videos

Personal protective equipment (PPE), including respirators (like N95s), facemasks (such as surgical masks), face shields and other eye protection, gowns, and gloves, are in short supply across the United States. Until appropriate PPE is available, the Rhode Island Department of Health provide guidance on the prioritization and conservation of PPE. Watch these educational videos on …

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CMS Releases Updated Fact Sheets

CMS has updated multiple fact sheets that summarize changes made through regulatory actions in response to COVID-19. View more resources available on CMS waivers and flexibilities here. A full list of emergency declaration blanket waivers for health care providers implemented to date is available here. Additional fact sheets include: Clinicians:  Physicians and Other Practitioners (PDF) …

CMS Releases Updated Fact Sheets Read More »

COVID-19 Update from the Department of Health and Human Services

The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) is processing payments from the Provider Relief Fund to hospitals with large numbers of COVID-19 inpatient admissions through April 10, 2020, and to rural providers in support of the national response to COVID-19. “These new payments are being distributed to healthcare providers who have been hardest hit …

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Second Round of Sweeping Changes to Support U.S. Healthcare System During COVID-19 Pandemic

At President Trump’s direction, and building on its recent historic efforts to help the U.S. healthcare system manage the 2019 Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services today issued another round of sweeping regulatory waivers and rule changes to deliver expanded care to the nation’s seniors and provide flexibility to the …

Second Round of Sweeping Changes to Support U.S. Healthcare System During COVID-19 Pandemic Read More »

Updated Accelerated and Advanced Payments Fact Sheet

In order to increase cash flow to providers of services and suppliers impacted by the 2019 Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has expanded current Accelerated and Advance Payment Program to a broader group of Medicare Part A providers and Part B suppliers. The expansion of this program is …

Updated Accelerated and Advanced Payments Fact Sheet Read More »

CDC’s New PPE Educational Materials

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) developed new Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) educational materials to be used as an aide when training healthcare personnel on selecting and correctly using; donning (putting on), doffing (taking off), and disposing of PPE to protect themselves from exposure to COVID-19 in the healthcare settings.   New COVID-19 …

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CMS Gives States Additional Flexibility to Address Coronavirus Pandemic

CMS approved its first Medicaid COVID-19 emergency demonstration, making the state of Washington the first to receive approval. The approval provides new flexibility and resources so the state of Washington can deliver the most effective care to their Medicaid beneficiaries. In addition to new payment and reimbursement arrangements, the demonstration allows the state to target …

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Compliance Flexibilities Announced for Implementation of Interoperability Final Rules Due to COVID-19

In response to the COVID-19 public health emergency, CMS and the Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT (ONC), in conjunction with the HHS Office of Inspector General (OIG), announced a policy of enforcement discretion to allow compliance flexibilities regarding the implementation of the interoperability final rules announced on March 9, 2020. ONC, CMS, …

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CMS Issues Guidance Allowing Independent Freestanding Emergency Departments to Provide Care to Medicare and Medicaid Beneficiaries during the COVID-19 Public Health Emergency

CMS issued critical guidance allowing licensed, independent freestanding emergency departments (IFEDs) in Colorado, Delaware, Rhode Island, and Texas to temporarily provide care to Medicare and Medicaid patients to address any surge resulting from COVID-19. This action by the Trump Administration increases hospital capacity to ensure these states can quickly and effectively care for their most …

CMS Issues Guidance Allowing Independent Freestanding Emergency Departments to Provide Care to Medicare and Medicaid Beneficiaries during the COVID-19 Public Health Emergency Read More »

Educational Webinar: Supporting Family Caregivers of Older Adults through Times of Stress and Isolation

Hosted by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), Medicare-Medicaid Coordination Office (MMCO) Supporting Family Caregivers of Older Adults through Times of Stress and Isolation Date/Time: Thursday, April 30, 2020, 12:00pm–1:30 pm EDT This webinar will offer strategies for supporting caregivers and their loved ones, up-to-date information on facilitating access to health and social …

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Infection Control FAQs

The Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC) released Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) on infection control. This page was updated on April 23, 2020 to align with the revised Interim Infection Prevention and Control Recommendations for Patients with Suspected or Confirmed Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) in Healthcare Settings. Who is this for: Healthcare personnel who …

Infection Control FAQs Read More »

COVID-19 Update: Additional Blanket Waivers

CMS continues to release additional blanket waivers to the healthcare community in order to provide the flexibilities needed to take care of patients during this public health emergency. Today, CMS is providing additional blanket waivers related to care for patients in Long-Term Care Hospitals (LTCHs), temporary expansion locations of Rural Health Clinics (RHCs) and Federally …

COVID-19 Update: Additional Blanket Waivers Read More »

Optimize PPE Supply

Personal protective equipment (PPE) is used every day by healthcare personnel (HCP) to protect themselves, patients, and others when providing care. PPE helps protect HCP from potentially infectious patients and materials, toxic medications, and other potentially dangerous substances used in healthcare delivery. PPE shortages are currently posing a tremendous challenge to the US healthcare system …

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